2016 sales from the Middlesmoor Herdwick flock will take place later this year, from July to September.
Over the years I have kept Herdwicks I have been fortunate to have the time and the numbers of sheep to enable me to know each animal as an individual.
Since the start with my two shearling ewes from Harry Hinde in 1991, I have kept pedigree breeding records and today in the fields there are sheep tracking back to the different blood lines developed over all those years. Partly because of this knowledge and partly because I’ve recognised that individual sheep are entirely distinctive from one another – and partly because I’m getting older and lives matter more, it is important to me that the sheep I sell go to homes where they will continue to be appreciated.
Also, because sheep take time and money to look after, if you can, you may as well look after sheep that contribute high quality to the breed’s genetics. There have been exceptions – and always will be - when maybe an individual somehow catches your attention and you know ‘its not going anywhere’...
In October 2015, I decided to buy a new tup shearling at Cockermouth tup sales. He is a young Ullswater lad bred by AS and CJ Hodgson of Glencoyne Bridge and is full of potential, very bright with a tight well coloured coat, teeth to die for and an overall excellent conformation with a leg most definitely at each corner. He went with all my shearlings and 2 shears from Goofy as well as those from the young Turner Hall tup I had borrowed. My older ewes went to the full brother of Goofy’s son that was breed champion as a shearling at the Yorkshire in 2014.
There will be lambs to sell from this season, as well as a few gimmer shearlings and 2 shear ewes. There will also be a couple of tup shearlings, currently really excellent hogs, off either Goofy or the Goofy son shown on the bottom of this page.
Background to the 2016 sales and breeding lines available
In 2012 I was very fortunate to be able to buy a superb tup bred by Stanley Jackson. He won numerous shows and I used him for two breeding seasons, as well as keeping a store of his semen at Innovis.
Known as 'Goofy', the tup is now kept in Cumbria and in 2014, I offered the the Breed Society the opportunity of enabling young breeders to bring approved females to him for tupping - both as a way to help them in their shepherding careers and to help improve the genetics of the breed. Its great news that one of his offspring from the 2014 initiative, a tup lamb owned by George Purcell, has been placed every time George has shown him. Goofy’s son has achieved an excellent track record at the 2015 Lake District Shows, coming 1st at the Cumberland, 4th at Penrith, 1st at Cockermouth, 3rd at Kentmere and most recently 2nd at the Westmoreland.
Goofy’s offspring from the Middlesmoor flock have also won prizes as lambs and last year one of his shearlings off a ewe of mine [a 7th generation descendent from my first Harry Hinde ewe] won Herdwick Breed Champion at the 2014 Great Yorkshire Show - as shown below.
This shearling went on to also win his class at the Westmoreland Show and was Reserve Breed Champion. I continue to own 50% of that tup, known as ‘Our Lad’, with 50% owned by Cumbrian breeder, Arnold Lancaster.
A full brother to this tup is shown as a tup lamb in the photograph below
The tups shown below also contribute to the genetics of my current ewes. The old guy on the left is homebred off a Turner Hall tup, and the young lad on the right is a Turner Hall tup, that Anthony Hartley sold in 2014 as a 2 shear.
Last autumn all of the tup shearlings, those from Goofy and from these other tups, were successfully registered by the Breed Society . These were sold and have been busy in various flocks during the 2015 tupping time.
I kept one Goofy son off one of my homebred ewes to use in 2015 with my older ewes and all my shearlings and 2shear off Goofy went to the Ullswater lad.
We await to see the results - imminently !
Please contact me for availability of sheep to buy in 2016.